Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hug…omaniacs – 8 Steps

A hug is such a strange thing. We feel all weird when we see someone heading towards us with those arms out stretched. Sometimes we bob and weave to avoid it. Sometimes we turn and shoulder the hugger so we can minimize the impact. The strange thing is that people enjoy hugs and I think I have worked out why.

A hug expresses a huge amount to those being hugged. It expresses love, concern, and care. It’s a great way of saying; "Don’t worry". It says "I’m here". It says, "All will be ok!". It says, "You are forgiven". It says, "You are important and special". It says that I have seen you, you are noticed. It says it’s ok to cry. It says a big bold hello and is a far bigger hello than a handshake. It says we are together in this.

Whatever the reason for a hug they always seem good. Afterwards we feel good. We feel like a million dollars. You feel like you had a really good cup of coffee. Yet for some reason we don’t see many people hugging. It’s like hugs are reserved for special occasions or for when the family is around. Without hugs we send a message of…. Well none of the above. There is just nothing. I think the world would be a better place if people got more hugs. There are people out there who are hug…less. It’s sad but true. Imagine a life without a hug. Imagine having a childhood without hugs.
I propose we change the world through hugs!

I propose that everyone deserves a hug!

So here is the big hug challenge. If you are not up to it. Well you better stop reading now. This is going to blow your mind and make you a professional Hug…omaniac.

Step 1 Start small. Hug your pillow, dog and cat. Something to practice on. If you survive without being bitten or scratched go to step 2. If not….still go to step 2.

Step 2 Clean up. Pointless being a hugger if you stink, have bad breath, sweat a lot or are generally repulsive. Have a shower and a shave and get ready for the big time. Now for step 3.

Step 3 Time for humans. Try someone close. A family member, husband, wife, children, mother-in-law.

Step 4 Your family is not getting enough hugs, repeat step 3 a few times. Especially for the children. Don’t take no from teenagers. Give them a hug even if they grunt in offense.

Step 5 Time to try a few people who are a bit more unknown. Keep hugging the family but now extend your hugging to those who are not family. Invite some friends for a braai and then hug them. Maybe when you are next at church. Hug them. Heck if you know their name give them a hug. Why? Well, why the not!

Step 6 By now you think you are a pro hugger but the bad news is you still have a way to go before you get really good at this thing called hugging. Now you need to hug a stranger. Yip, that’s what I said, a stranger. Hug someone who you have met for the first time. Give them a big ‘ol squeeze. I bet they will enjoy it and even if they don’t, so what. They deserve it anyway. Give them another hug for good measure. Try the cashier at the store. Try the person getting in a car next to you. Strangers are just friends you have not met yet. So it’s time you met them with a big hug.

Step 7 There will be a bunch of people you won’t have hugged up to now. Let’s call them the unhuggables. They will be people that for some reason you feel they should not get your hug. Well todays your day to deal with that. Maybe it’s someone who made you Angry. Maybe they did something to you. Maybe they are a different race, religion, culture, age, attitude, dress, gender. Maybe they're Boss or someone you feel is too below you. Whatever the reason it’s time you got over it. Give them a hug. Give the car guard a hug. Hug a beggar. Hug a policeman. Hug the petrol attendant. Hug someone from a different political party. Hug your teacher. Hug the person who you have been avoiding.

Step 8 Now repeat it all over and over until it’s the way you are. Be the best hugger. See if you can hug more than 10 people a day. Set yourself goals. Hug 20 a day. Heck, Hug a 100 people in a day. I dare you!

If you have made it through this you have done well. You have said goodbye to your issues with people and have said hello to a life of a hug..omaniac.


Happy hugging

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Shooting Stars!!!!

Michelle and I were out walking at the crack of dawn and saw several shooting stars….or at least that’s Michelle’s story. I explained that they could easily have been space debris re-entering the atmosphere which was much less glamorous and romantic particularly at five in the morning which suited me fine. After some heated debate I retreated from what could have got worse.

This did however get me thinking about what lessons could be learnt from this situation.

1 Just cos it looks like a star does not mean it is one.
How often in life we see people as famous stars and we want to be the same. Yet behind the glamour and bright shining lights there is debris. Often we hear of drugs, broken families and a life that is far from Gods plan which eventually comes out and the star falls. You can’t fake it as a star forever. Eventually the lights dim and people see what is really going on. Who are the stars in your life?  Remember that they are no perfect and have much to live up to. Give them a break and more importantly pray for them that God works in their lives. If you are a star, maybe you need to be more real with yourself and those watching. God has gifted you with talents for a purpose. Use the talents for his purpose and at the same time get your life back in order with what is actually important.

2 What amazing creation.
It is amazing how creation is so massive that we have barely understood it. As soon as we discover something we also realise there is more hidden behind it. Behind every star is another star and so it continues. God Is not limited by our understanding of what he can or cannot do. He works within and beyond our understanding. He placed the stars to glorify his name and for us to know that he exists.

3 The moon is but a reflection.
The moon as good looking as it is, is just a reflection of true light. The moon is a dead rock. The Sun is alive and full of fire. Look for what you follow in your life to see if it’s the real deal or just a reflection of what is real. In your own life you can reflect God o you can be filled by him to overflowing. Rather than following reflections follow the true light and son of God Jesus.

4 There is always darkness before light dawns.
Sometimes life gets very dark and it seems like the darkness swallows us up and takes everything from us. The good news is that light will prevail. Jesus the Son will rise and the darkness will be no more. When in the darkness we hope for the light. We wait for the red light on the horizon that shows that dawn is near, when we can bask in the warmth he provides. Don’t give up. Hold on. He’s coming.

5 Your whole body needs work.
We are mind, body and soul. All three should be exercised accordingly. Walking and similar fitness routines exercise the body. Reading and studying is a great way to exercise the mind. Worshipping, Praying, Hearing and listening to God exercises the soul. We should focus on all three in some way to get our lives right. Being close to God however is the most important.

6 You need to spend quality time with Family.
You should set time to be with you family as a goal. Spend time with your wife, husband and children. Not just watching TV. Spend some quality time talking, cuddling, eating and playing games. In the busy lives we have we can easily forget the importance of that. Oh, and don’t forget to let them win the argument sometimes.

God Bless. Have a wonderful day.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Life sux without purpose

Picture the scene, a family dinner. Dad shouts for the children to be quiet and tells them how stupid they are. Demands someone bring him a drink and food. The children run riot. Dad screams at Mom to sort out the children. A huge argument ensues. Mom gets mad and tells him to get out. Later they divorce. This all happens on Sunday night after church. A great reflection of Christianity.

The Boss at work is know as a tyrant. He orders people around. Pays poor salaries. Fires anyone who shows the potential to take his position. He Dominates, manipulates and controls. He shows no empathy for anyone. Its work to the bone but on weekends he's at church singing worship songs and listening to a sermon. What a contrast of characters. Would Jesus be proud to call you his Son?

What about the regular Personal assistant in the office. She takes hour long lunch breaks when in should be 30 minutes. Arrives late, Leaves early. Uses company equipment for personal use, heck she even takes some stuff home. Sugar, tea, coffee, some of the water bottles from the boardroom fridge nothing big so it should be ok. She refuses to help anyone. She worries about herself and how much money she can score in any way possible. The people at work see all this. What do they think when she says she is a Christian?

I have been thinking a lot about how we handle everything in life. What are our motives and what drives us. We often get stressed out because we are probably doing things our way. We get stressed out because we have no control of what happens and we want it to be our way. We want to be in control. We sometimes use prayer as a means to achieve our objectives forgetting that we need to align our lives with Jesus and his objectives. Our prayers are often a wish list of things we want and we expect God to deliver because we said so. Much like spoilt children talking to Rich Daddy. This is not exactly correct. Sure we can ask God for things but he will in the end give us what is right and good for us and for his kingdom and not just anything we ask. If God thinks you need to work on your selfishness why would he give you more stuff to be selfish with. He would probably trust you with more if you were not selfish and that means not being selfish in your heart and not just in action. Faking the end result because of wrong motives just shows once again that the motives are wrong and you need more work before you before God can make you what he wants you to be.

I guess in this year we should be asking what's the point then? Why am I here and what should I be doing? If work sux for me should I run or is there more? If Family is a pain should I run or Is there more? I would like to throw some thoughts at that and it all revolves around Mission. What is your purpose and mission in life?

Firstly let's look at family. Is your mission to be married and be selfish and obtain as much as you can from the family life, from your spouse and your children or, is family about getting your spouse and children to reflect God. This means your role is to help the others in family find God, Grow in God and reflect God with the aim of ultimately being missional themselves. If your family is not where it should be the question remains about what part you have played in either helping or hindering the family from growing to the goal of reflecting God. What will you do each any every day to help your family members be messengers of Jesus and his Love.

What about church.... Same thing, is church there to support your selfish agenda? Do you leach of church, get happy on worship and great sermons but contribute zero to the people who attend. Is this Gods purpose for you in a community of believers to sit back and absorb without giving back to what is happening in the Church, Community and Home Cell. I think God has gifted you in some way. Use these gifts to further the kingdom.

What about work.... For some people it's a power trip. For others a money making machine. Maybe you hate work? I don't know what goes on at your work but have to ask the question....What's your purpose there? Is it to sit through the drudgery or is it to shine the light. To reach out to others and show them Jesus. this is done through what you say, What you do and in some cases requires you to step out and maybe offer to help someone. Pray for someone. Feed Someone. Comfort Someone. Not work.....Pure Joy. Being the light in the work place. If your are a person that brings Anger, Grumpiness, Stress, corruption.....your are not bringing the fruits of the spirit to your work place. Maybe it's time to try and lets God be more and you be less.

Anyway......So there's a new years resolution for you. Be missional and change where you are.
Be real. Don't fake it. Be the original you the way you are designed to be.